'Over the next year we’ll make it, just give us time' - Davy Fitzgerald confident Wexford can take next step
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald insists his side will 'make it over the next year or so' and that there will a be a lot of big days for the yellowbellies this season despite their 5-18 to 1-19 loss to Tipperary on Saturday.
A second-half blitz from Tipperary killed off a Division 1 Hurling semi-final that was right in the balance, as three goals in the second period from Michael Ryan's side effectively booked them a place with Galway in the final long before the final whistle blew, and yet, despite their second-half collapse, Fitzgerald is confident that his charges will be able to turn it around over the rest of their season.
"Obviously we’ve done pretty okay. Anyone playing Tipperary knows they’ll be in a game," Fitzgerald told RTÉ Sport.
"I think we’ve come a long way but I’ve said it repeatedly, I think we’ve still a lot more to do.
"There is stuff there, there are good lads there. Over the next year or so we’ll make it. I kept saying to them in Wexford, ‘just give us time’.
"The support was brilliant today, they didn’t get on our backs. We will have good days. There’s a lot of big days maybe ahead this year. A week or two off will do them no harm."
While the second-half will largely be remembered for a blitz of goals from Brendan Maher and John & Noel McGrath, the first-half will be widely remembered as the moment when Fitzgerald took to the pitch to confront referee Diarmuid Kirwan, and Tipperary's Niall O'Meara and Jason Forde, over the failure to award James Breen a free in the build up to Tipperary's second goal.
Fitzgerald said of the incident that it was important to make a point, but that it was probably a ploy that he won't be looking to employ in the future.
"It was important to make the point," Fitzgerald told TG4. "You have to do what you think is right for the team. It's probably something I won't try again.
"I think it will take a year or two to get where we want to, but you saw out there today, there was plenty of fight in them, there was some lovely hurling in it.
"We just need to tighten it a small bit at the back. We won’t give in. We’ll stay working hard with this bunch and we’ll have good days with them."